Sour Grapes and Good Vintage


In winery, the difference between sour grapes and good vintage is a matter of days. In politics, it is depends on the persona. In 1960 U.S. elections, there were many accusations of impropriety in the Illinois votes. Yet, Richard Nixon, citing the need for national unity, conceded victory to Kennedy. Few days before the 1968 Presidential elections, then President Lyndon B. Johnson was livid at Republican Candidate Richard M. Nixon. Johnson was trying to orchestrate peace in Vietnam before elections and arranged for a meeting of key parties in the conflict. In the last minute North Vietnam backed out. Rumor was that Nixon's operatives had hinted them that they can get a better deal with Nixon. Johnson cried treason until Nixon totally denied the rumor. A week later, after Nixon was declared winner in a close election, Johnson played a gracious host to Nixon in the White House. What started as sour grapes ended as a good vintage. What goes around comes back around. Transition from Gerald Ford to Jimmy Carter was marked by detail preparation by the incoming President. Carter and his young assistants started the planning for transfer immediately after the Primary victory. This transition preparation would serve as a model for future times. Ronald Reagan likewise was well prepared for assuming the Office. The Clinton Bush transition was messy. After a contested election and narrow Bush victory aided by Supreme Court intervention, Al Gore conceded to George Bush only on December 13. Many observers believe that the delay in transition in 2000 might have created a vacuum which led to the 9/11 tragedy. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush showed southern hospitality and were amiable hosts to the incoming Presidents in 1992 and 2008 respectively. Barack Obama, although very critical of Trump during the elections, did not hold back on smooth transition. That brings us to the current situation. Trump refuses to concede and maintains that he won. Based on past misbehaviors, it is not surprising that Trump has a feeling of "sour grapes". However, in Trump's case he believes that a "good vintage" was stolen from him. Shockingly, based on some Polls, 70% of the 74 million people who voted for him seem to agree.

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